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Oct 30 2013

Clear signs that you’ve “checked out” at work

checked out of your job, quit your job, say goodbye, This week, I learned about a co-worker having drinks with a recruiter; friends drafting their resignation letters; and a long time well-respected colleague quitting.

Sometimes we reach a point where we’re “done” with a job. It can be on good terms like we’ve achieved all that we can, need to move on to bigger opportunities, or want to go back to school.

But other times, it can be on “screw you, I’m done with this bullshit” terms. I’ve experienced both in my past life. And I’ve learned that when you develop a tolerance for said bullshit, you become a ticking time bomb.

While you’re toughing it out at a job you’re unhappy with, what are some clear signs that you’ve checked out at work? Well here’s a compilation of what I’ve experienced in the past and what I’m seeing others go through now.

Your motivation starts to dwindle

The same excitement you used to have about your work is replaced by dread and misery.  Projects that used to be fun and exciting become painful chores that you just want to get over with.

work quotes homeless, i like this job only marginally more than being homeless

You stop trying as hard as you used to

The lack of motivation plus a general shortage of “giving a shit” means you put in much less effort than you used to. You stop caring about your work quality, so all you do is the bare minimum.

It gets harder and harder to come into work every day

I’m not a morning person, but I can still muster up the energy to come to work. In the past when I’ve checked out, that energy just wasn’t there regardless of how much sleep I got. When you would rather do anything else – get a root canal, get a pap smear, jab a pen in your eye – than go to work, you know you’re done.

not doing shit today

You spend most of the day wishing it would end

The days don’t always go by slowly, but you’re always hoping they would end quicker. Every day at work is such a battle that you’re counting down the hours before home time.

You’re super negative about EVERYTHING

Everything sucks; there’s nothing good about your job; and you hate all things between 9 and 5. No matter how hard you try, you just don’t have it in you to be positive about anything anymore. To you, everything’s just way too shitty.

You don’t care what people think of you

The days of impressing your boss, going the extra mile, and exceeding expectations are long gone. Now you’re just trying to get through each day until one of you calls it quits.

You become easily annoyed 

Your tolerance for stupidity is significantly lowered when you’ve checked out.  Whether it’s the technology, the business model, or the people around you, things get under your skin a lot more easily when you’re unhappy.

shut the fuck up quote

You don’t care if you get fired… In fact, you’d count it as a blessing

You’re hoping that your lack of effort, non-existent enthusiasm and “don’t give a rat’s ass” attitude will get you fired. This would save you the trouble of writing a resignation letter.

Like a relationship, when it’s over, it’s over.

Checking out of a job is much like checking out of a relationship. There are situations where if both partners are willing to work at it, the relationship can turn around for the better. But sometimes, you’ve given all you can give and it just wasn’t meant to be. When you reach that point of no return, is when you know it’s time to move on.

Tell me, have you ever checked out of a job before?

1 comment

  1. Mark

    Going through it right now. I have been at a senior financial position for going on 5 years. My work load increased nearly 3 fold a year and a half ago due to people leaving the company with there replacements not being of the same caliber. I “checked out” about 6 months ago. My performance is not as good as it use to be. I watch the clock and look forward to Friday at 5pm. Can’t wait to leave the company. I’ve had a rather successful career and this is the first time this has ever happened to me

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